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WEEKLY EMAIL: DECEMBER 15, 2010


Site, Ascendant

FEATURED THIS WEEK : DAVID HEYMANN

Site, Ascendant

"The role of site in various forms of Western cultural production has evolved dramatically over the past 50 years," writes architect and Places contributing editor David Heymann. "Roughly speaking, where once site was seen as setting, now it is seen as source." In the third and last (for a while) of his series on landscape and buildings, Heymann delves into this dramatic evolution, exemplified in landmarks of Land Art by Turrell, Smithson, et al., and in projects by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Peter Zumthor, OMA, Zaha Hadid, et al., all of which underscore what Heymann calls the ascendance of site as "a primary form-driving factor in current architectural design."
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JON CALAME

The Roma of Rome: Heirs to the Ghetto System

"In Italy today, politicians have become the lead architects of a low-cost human-warehousing system designed to contain the minority Roma, or Gypsy, community," writes historic preservationist Jon Calame. Here we present a report, with a detailed slideshow, in which Calame tracks a network of marginalized housing camps  — what he calls the latest chapter in a long, dark history of state-sponsored ghettos.
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KEITH EGGENER

Building on Burial Ground

The rituals with which we bury and remember the dead, and the places we build to house and memorialize their remains, speak eloquently about contemporary culture. As architectural historian and Places contributing editor Keith Eggener writes, "Because cemeteries are such patently liminal sites — poised between past and future, life and death, material and spiritual, earth and heaven — they more than any other designed landscapes communicate grand social and metaphysical ideas." Here we present an excerpt and slideshow drawn from Eggener's new book, Cemeteries.
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DAVID HEYMANN

Nature-ization Takes Command

"Nature, the state of the environment, the crisis of the natural landscape: are there more profound sources for meaningfulness — for questions as well as answers — in architecture today? You can hardly swing an extinct species without hitting an example." So writes David Heymann, in the second of a series exploring the intensifying importance of landscape for contemporary design. Heymann finds resonant examples worldwide, ranging from buildings by Glenn Murcutt, Herzog & de Meuron and Future Systems to installations by Olafur Eliasson, Mel Chin and Wolfgang Laib.
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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2006

The State of City Planning Today

A veteran city planner and educator analyzes the anemia of U.S. planning, and detects signs of life in neighborhood activism.
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Pratt Institute, School of Architecture

PARTNER SCHOOL

Pratt Institute, School of Architecture
The work of the students here at Pratt shows a clear appreciation and understanding of the possibilities of architecture today, as the mission of the school is dedicated to design and a complete understanding of the making of cities and buildings. The spirit of advancing architectural ideas in terms of both form and technique is at the essence of the transformation of contemporary design.

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Richard Weller

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